Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Father of German Music

Jane Stuart Smith & Betty Carlson, The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence, p. 25:

[Heinrich] Schütz's first masterpiece in the "grand Italian manner" was his setting of The Psalms of David in 1619. He is often called the father of German music, and it is refreshing and enlightening to observe that he based his music almost exclusively on Biblical texts....Psalm 121 is an example of a superb union of words and music. It can well be said that Schütz unlocked the music hidden in the Psalms. He was the greatest composer of Psalm settings in the history of music.

For your listening pleasure, here is Schütz's setting of Psalm 121, "Ich hebe meine Augen auf zu den Bergen", op. 2 (Psalmen Davids) no. 10, SWV. 31 (1619):

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